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Nov 24 2017

Film-making job title and tax position

Being called a camera operator might have serious repercussions for your freelance status and tax liability

Do you like being called an "operator"?

I don't either. This is more than just a point of pedantry because if you are named on your purchase order as an operator and are not supplying camera kit to productions, working for more than 3 companies in the same year or a limited company yourself, then you might fall into the PAYE category. It would be worth politely correcting any colleague, especially a purchaser if they refer to you as an operator because they might be liable for tax if you really are an operator.

As long as you don't have a director or DoP giving instructions on location or set then you are probably taking major content, lighting and composition decisions yourself and are a cameraperson, film-maker or photographer. That's different from an operator in different branches of the film industry.

More to come shortly from Mark Payne-Gill, IAWF Liaison Leader.

Graham Hatherley